December 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.   Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:9-11

This great news continues on today as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior.  And the result – great joy!!  And it’s news for ALL the people!  As Starfish Ministries completes its 18th year of ministry in Haiti, we continue to reach out to the spiritually lost with this great news.

As Pastor Esau and Pastor Pauley work with our Starfish Ministries churches and leadership we are seeing positive results in the lives of the people.  Many have responded to the gospel and are now being discipled and are growing in their faith in Jesus.  This is so encouraging to us as we experience the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our little part of the world in Haiti.  God is at work in many lives and He has raised up Haitian leadership to accomplish His purpose in those lives.

We are also beginning to see a change in the dependency attitude of the people we minister to.  The culture of Haiti is one of depending on others for even their most basic needs.  This is a culture that we are working hard to overcome.  For the most part the people don’t see this as a possibility.  For as far back as they can see they have been dependent on relief organizations.  But now as our Haitian director, Daniel, shares with them the possibility of a different future they are beginning to catch the vision in the Tricotte area.  And that’s where our current building project comes in.

Director Daniel and Pastor Esau brought us the idea of a Community Center in Tricotte that would be used for Learning and Development in the spiritual and physical areas of life.  The walls of that building are currently going up and by the end of January it will have a roof and be close to ready for use.  Then Daniel, Esau and others will begin teaching there through Bible Studies, leadership training and basic areas of life skills with the goal of spiritual maturity as well as progress toward financial independence.

This project is already having a great impact on the community and beyond.  The excavation for the building site seemed to be an impossible task.  Without backhoes, excavators or any other mechanical equipment the task had to be carried out with hard manual labor.  Over 1000 cubic yards of hard digging soil were moved by the people.  Most of the people who were involved have little or no education and are often not valued by society.  This project has given them the opportunity to build something that will serve generations to come.

But it wasn’t only the people of Tricotte who were working.  There were many others who came from outside Tricotte who came to help turn what looked impossible into a possibility.  The days when people thought that only the people of Tricotte should work there are gone.

The village welcomed any worker.  And over 200 people have volunteered, many of whom were then hired as we continues this project.  These people have nothing but they came with a desire to serve and they gave all that they had to give.  What an encouragement that is!  And many of them are not yet Christians so it is also a testimony to them of God’s goodness and we trust they will respond to the gospel.

These Haitians are giving of themselves to serve others – what a great gift to give at Christmas!

Thank you so much for your response to the Christmas Giving List (you can find the Christmas list here).  Here’s a summary of those items for those of you who may still desire to share toward these needs:

  • Chickens $10.00
  • Microloans $60.00
  • Chairs – Community Center $15.00
  • Bibles $10.00
  • Songbooks   $15.00
  • Goats $35.00
  • Feed a Child for a year $36.00
  • Send a Child to school $120.00
  • Maps, Charts & Posters $10.00

Again we thank God for you – God is using your prayer and financial support to accomplish much in the lives of needy Haitians.

Have a very blessed Christmas and New Year 2016!!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp